The Ukrainian World Congress suggests that Ukrainian communities worldwide use the Culture vs War film series for screenings as part of the UWC global advocacy campaign #StandWithUkraine, leading up to the second anniversary of Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine in a war that has been ongoing for 10 years.
The Culture vs War documentary film series is a project of the Association “Promoting the Development of Cinema in Ukraine – Watch Ukrainian!”. The initiative narrates the stories of Ukrainian musicians, cinematographers, writers, photographers, and other cultural figures about the war through their histories and memories. These artists have temporarily halted their creative activities to defend Ukraine.
The first documentary in the Culture vs War series tells the story of the popular Ukrainian band Antytila. “They have been volunteers since 2014 and soldiers of the Ukrainian Armed Forces TRO battalion since the first days of the full-scale invasion in February 2022. During their service, Antytila took part in the battles for Kyiv, and later worked as paramedics in hot spots in the Kharkiv region, saving the lives of Ukrainian soldiers,” the film authors write.
The link: https://youtu.be/YALSyd3ohuU?si=Q4M-UIyWure9eyMn
The Ukrainian cinematographer Serhii Mykhalchuk is the protagonist of the second film. “Serhii Mykhalchuk began documenting the events of the war from the first day of the full-scale invasion of Russia. He joined the Armed Forces and continued to tell the world the truth about the war with his photographs from the front line.”
The link: https://youtu.be/9Ewnkyz1uxw?si=e4acdG4XAkbUEb9x
The story of the renowned Ukrainian actor, director, and current serviceman in the Armed Forces of Ukraine, Akhtem Seitablaiev, is depicted in the third film of the Culture vs War project.
The link: https://youtu.be/hR3Q2LiRTXg?si=6rniI28j022Uwq9u
The Ukrainian poet, writer, and musician Serhiy Zhadan is the protagonist of the fourth film. “But for the past year and a half, Zhadan has been primarily a volunteer. With the beginning of the full-scale invasion, the poet stayed to help civilians and the military in his home city of Kharkiv, which was intensively shelled by Russian troops. Now, thanks to charity performances, he raises millions of hryvnias for the needs of the army,” the film authors write.
The link: https://youtu.be/AGKVyHliwsk?si=5YKmcXjmthRtc1E9
Among the artists who stood up in defense of Ukraine after Russia’s full-scale invasion is the kobzar Taras Kompanichenko. “Throughout his life, Taras has been researching, preserving and promoting the Ukrainian kobza tradition. In 2023, he won the Shevchenko Prize together with the Chorea Kozacky band. Kobza also accompanies the musician in the army: Ukrainian soldiers take the oath of allegiance, get married and send off their comrades on their last journey to the music of centuries-old kobza.” The artist’s story is depicted in the fifth film of the documentary series.
The link: https://youtu.be/gYn7r-Be7kc?si=BbfJ8lJst11CCdqx
The documentary film series concludes with a film about the photographer couple Kostiantyn and Vladа Liberov. “They record the consequences of war crimes – shelling of residential buildings and civilian infrastructure, flooding of entire villages and evacuation of residents after the occupiers blew up the Kakhovka hydroelectric power station. The Liberov’s painfully truthful, touching and hopeful photos are published by the world’s most reputable media, including BBC, Associated Press, Welt, Vogue, Forbes, and the New York Times. Photography has become their weapon of struggle for justice.”
The link: https://youtu.be/mgVN6HHIW3k?si=Lh9doTT9tfjMpE11
The campaign #StandWithUkraine is detailed further at the following link.
Photos: the Culture vs War film series